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The Philippines Collaborating to Enhance AI and Cloud

Jaime FlorCruz, the Philippine Ambassador to China, has indicated that some Chinese businesses are interested in bringing their knowledge and technology on AI (artificial intelligence) and data cloud computing to the country. He said that these corporations are eager to teach and upskill young Filipinos and provide them with the option of working with them or for other companies.

“This is merely the beginning; it does not represent the end of our trade or commercial relations with China. We can investigate and pursue further prospective projects,” Flor Cruz remarked on President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s three-day state visit to China.

President Marcos also stated how the collaboration might benefit the Philippines. However, he emphasises the need for technology transfer and profit repatriation.

“That’s what we’re looking for right now. To ensure that these investments not only create jobs for the local economy, but that there is also a transfer of technology so that profit repatriation is minimised, and value-added is retained in the Philippines,” he said.

President Marcos secured US$22.8 billion in investment pledges from Chinese investors. Thousands of employments are expected to be created due to investments and technology transfer to the country. He ensures that the investment will result in many jobs when they begin operations. Chinese firms will also begin training and capacity building for future employees.

The pledged investment of US$22.8 billion includes US$1.72 billion for agribusiness, US$13.76 billion for renewable energy, and US$7.32 billion for strategic monitoring of areas such as electric vehicles and mineral processing.

As per President Marcos, some of these investments have already begun construction and have started to open their offices. With relatively new fields such as mineral processing and battery and electric vehicle manufacture in the mix, Marcos stated that the government must continue demonstrating to potential investors that the Philippines is a good investment option.

At the same time, the Philippines signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on electronic commerce (e-commerce) during the state visit to promote trade relations. The two countries agreed to increase trade of high-quality featured products and services; explore business interchange between MSMEs and e-commerce platforms, start-ups, and logistics service providers; and share best practices and innovative experiences in utilising e-commerce.

The agreement will make it easier for the Philippines and China to share experiences, best practices, critical information, and trade and e-commerce policies. In addition, it established the Manila-Beijing Working Group on Electronic Commerce as a focal point of coordination for the two parties.

The countries want to launch activities to promote consumer and merchant protection, intellectual property protection, data security, and privacy rules. This MoU will help to increase the ability of local businesses in the Philippines to compete in the modernising business sector.

Furthermore, the Philippine House of Representatives adopted the final reading of the proposed Internet Transactions Act, which sought to establish an electronic commerce (e-commerce) bureau to regulate all business-to-business and business-to-consumer commercial transactions via the internet. The law and bureau will order Internet retail, online booking services, digital media providers, ride-hailing services, and internet banking services.

The Internet Transactions Act applies to all entities, both domestic and foreign. The bill also directs its activities to the Philippine market on purpose and voluntarily, which is judged to be doing business in the Philippines and subject to applicable Philippine laws. The proposed regulation also ensures parity and respects competition between online merchants and physical shop sellers of products and services.

The e-commerce bureau’s responsibility is to keep consumers and merchants who conduct internet transactions safe. The bureau oversees the development, monitoring, and maintaining an online business registry. In addition, the e-commerce bureau will spearhead the development of online dispute resolution tools that will serve as a central point of responsibility for consumers and online sellers looking for out-of-court dispute resolution.

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